This past weekend we went to the International Wine Festival at the Taubman Museum. Mr. LLA had never been to a wine festival before, so I thought I would share some reasons to attend one if you get a chance. And next year, if you are in Roanoke, VA on January 27, you should come to ours.
1. You get to try wines from all over the world for a bargain price
We tried 35 wines from France, the USA, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Australia. Some of the types were completely new to me like the Hondarrabi Zuri from Spain, and the Grillo and Appassimento from Italy. All of these wines are available at our local Kroger, which sponsored the event. While I do like to occasionally pick up a new wine to try, I don’t like to take huge chances. If I am trying something new I will stick to a cheaper bottle just in case I don’t like it. At the festival, we were given a little booklet with the names of all the wines and a pencil to take notes. Now I have a list of wines I know that I will enjoy, so I can match my tastes to my budget, and if one of my picks is a splurge, then I already know I like it.
2. It is a good way to explore different varieties if you are unfamiliar with wines.
In our family, I’m the wine drinker. Mr. LLA will try anything, but he doesn’t usually enjoy wine or really know anything about it. I’m still trying to teach him not to chill my red wines. I know there are a lot of people like him out there, and wine festivals can be a great to way to see if you like any wines. The tastings are small, and you are under no obligation to finish your glass. There are buckets for you to pour the unliked wine in. Pour it out and move on to the next one. You never know what you are going to like. We left with a list of several wines that we will be able to enjoy together.
3. You get to eat some good food
If you are drinking wine, there must be food. I can’t imagine it would be a pretty sight to see people stumbling around after trying a bunch of wine with nothing else in their stomachs. There was an assortment of cheeses and accompaniments, pork tenderloin, charcuterie, pickles, pimento cheese, and desserts. The highlight for both of us though were the duck potstickers. I do not usually like duck, but I did not want to stop eating these. I might have to attempt to recreate them at some point in the future. There were also these little flourless chocolate cakes that were incredibly tiny and rich. I must make flourless chocolate cake soon. Maybe for Valentine’s day?
4. It makes for a nice date night
Wine festivals make for great dates. You get to try new things and compare your reactions. At this festival, we also got to wander around the art exhibits (sans wineglasses). I have a thing for John Singer Sargent paintings, and the Taubman is home to one of my favorites, Mrs. Norah Gribble. We also got to take home our commemorative wine glass. Now we have a little reminder of our date night.
So, look at an events calendar for your area. Find a wine festival and go. If you know of any exceptional festivals, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to check them out.